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NAIOP (National Association for Industrial and Office Parks) New Jersey, the well-known commercial real estate development association, invited Parsippany Mayor James Barberio to participate on a panel at its annual Public Policy Symposium on March 2 because it considers him to be bold and innovative with regard to economic development.

NAIOP is a powerful network of trade associations, asset managers and commercial real estate developers with more than 720 members in the state of New Jersey. It is widely known for excellent educational and business development programs, networking and dissemination of real estate knowledge.

The theme for this presentation was Engaging Local Leaders to reinvent our Communities. New Jersey DCA commissioner, Charles Richman, delivered remarks about pending legislation and Melissa Orsen, CEO of NJ Economic Development Administration, spoke about the latest incentives and tools available to municipalities and developers.

Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse and Wayne Mayor Christopher Vergano joined Barberio to discuss what is going on in their towns, public policy issues, opportunities of which developers should be aware and COAH reform.

Moderated by Clark Machemer, NAIOP NJ president and senior vice president of the Rockefeller Group, and NAIOP NJ President-Elect Dave Gibbons, president of Elberon Development Group, views were exchanged regarding the greatest challenges confronting communities, management practices for controlling costs and adapting to rapidly changing trends in demographics, technology and economics.

With more than 100 real estate professionals in attendance, the audience learned about the obstacles hampering development and how towns are overcoming them. They were also informed about the emerging opportunities for developers to partner with local officials to transform communities.

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